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  • Kejedey
    Posts: 66
    Joined: Jan 15th, 2007, 02:41
    Best levels/use of busses/clean tracks
    Hi Guys, This is about keeping my recordings clean! I was recently reading in some forums about the best levels to mix in logic - people seem to like peaking at -4, maybe the extra headroom helps with the plugin chain - maintaining a good gain structure? What do you say? With plugins I have a few I like. Space Designer, Stereo Echo, Tape echo, Antares Auto Tune, Mic Mod, - PSP Vintage Warmer, Noble EQ, Xenon Limiter, Old Timer compresser. All to try to get an old school fat sound like my favourite records. Now, when you put all these on there, are you hearing more effect than signal? Does it help if you put them on busses? Does setting up a clean track, no plugs - and mixing that with the effected track help? I'm talking about getting technically and soundwise the best result. I tried listening, but my old ears hear what they want to hear LOL! Cheers! Pete
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  • Peter Schwartz
    Posts: 545
    Joined: Sep 15th, 2007, 06:04
    Re: Best levels/use of busses/clean tracks
    Hi Gurner, When it comes to Logic, gain structure is something I associate with recording audio, not mixing. That's because Logic's audio channels can't distort. It's entirely possible to have a bunch of very hot signals hitting the outputs, though, and they will distort. But rather than turning down the levels of individual audio channels, I simply turn down the level of the output (e.g., stereo output) to get signal to peak where I want it to, which is usually around -6 dBfs. As far as FX go, and whether you're hearing more processed signal than original signal, let's look at the signal routing possibilities and you can judge for yourself -- on a plugin by plugin basis -- whether or not this is the case. There are two signal routings you can use: series and parallel. Here I'm going to assume that you're strapping these various plugins across your 2-mix (i.e., you're inserting them in the Stereo Output channel's FX slots). If you're looking to process your entire 2-mix with, say, the vintage warmer, the typical approach is to insert it in the output channel with the intent of never hearing the original sound of the 2-mix mixed in. Mix --> Warmer --> Output Assuming that the mix control is set all the way to the right, so that you're only hearing the Warmer's sound, this is serial processing, meaning that the unprocessed sound is prevented from passing through it. But if you start to turn that knob to the left you'll begin to mix in the sound of the unprocessed mix. This then becomes parallel processing, as both processed and unprocessed sound are presented at the output of the Warmer. For plugins that don't have a mix control or wet/dry balance controls, strapping them across the output channel gives you no choice but to hear the processed signal on the output.
    Reply
  • Kejedey
    Posts: 66
    Joined: Jan 15th, 2007, 02:41
    Re: Best levels/use of busses/clean tracks
    Hi Ski, That's cool. So would you say less is best, with plugs, or pile them on if it sounds good? I guess the reverbs and delays should mostly go on buses... (I got a new Macpro last year, so CPU shouldn't really be a problem I've heard it said save the Warmer for mastering - and also the other way put it on the stereo output which is what you are saying? Cheers!
    Reply
  • Peter Schwartz
    Posts: 545
    Joined: Sep 15th, 2007, 06:04
    Re: Best levels/use of busses/clean tracks
    Personally, I don't think there are any rules. I routinely use an EQ on orchestral sounds that the developer of the plugin specifically recommends not using on 'classical music'. There's a saying, "if it sounds good it is good".
    Reply
  • Kejedey
    Posts: 66
    Joined: Jan 15th, 2007, 02:41
    Re: Best levels/use of busses/clean tracks
    So, 'A difference which makes no difference is no difference' as someone once said! also 'Calm down and carry on' as they say in the Royal Navy... Cheers! Pete
    Reply
  • Peter Schwartz
    Posts: 545
    Joined: Sep 15th, 2007, 06:04
    Re: Best levels/use of busses/clean tracks
    LOL! Just to be clear, in my initial reply to you it didn't even occur to me to offer any perspectives regarding the number of plugins you might use on any given track, or where and how you might use them. It's probably a given that the number, type, and configuration of plugins will likely vary from one track to the next. But I'll stand by what I said: "if it sounds good..." etc. Cheers, Ski
    Reply
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